[QODLink]
Football
South Korea lose Champs League spot
Despite being tournament's most successful nation, AFC docks K-League one automatic place for Champions League.
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2011 14:35
Underdogs Al Sadd won the Asian Champions League this year giving Qatar double the allocation for next year's competition [REUTERS]

The South Korean top flight has lost one of its four automatic places for the group stages of the Asian Champions League despite being the tournament's most successful nation.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) released the breakdown of direct entrants for the 2012 edition late on Thursday with K-League clubs, winners of three of the last nine tournaments, guaranteed only three places.

Iran and Saudi Arabia have also lost places, while Qatar's direct allocation doubled to four, giving a third of their 12-team Stars League berths in 2012.

Al Sadd became the first Qatari winners of Asia's premier club tournament when they overcame South Korea's Jeonbuk in the final earlier this month and their success is likely to have helped sway the decision.

Korean clubs Pohang Steelers and Seongnam Ilhwa had won the two previous tournaments with three K-League sides reaching the quarter-finals this year, proving how strong they are in Asia.

The AFC said the decisions had been based after assessments by various bodies that deemed only Japan (four slots), Qatar and Uzbekistan (two slots) fully met their entry criteria.

The slots will revised next year after the 2012 tournament the AFC said.

Source:
Reuters
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Spirits are high in Scotland's 'Whisky Capital of the World' with one distillery thirsty for independence.
President Poroshenko arrives in Washington on Thursday with money and military aid on his mind, analysts say.
Early players in private medicine often focused on volume over quality, turning many Chinese off for-profit care.
Al Jazeera asked people across Scotland what they think about the prospect of splitting from the United Kingdom.
Blogger critical of a lack of government transparency faces defamation lawsuit from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
join our mailing list